Marketing is always a tricky task for lawyers and their respective firms. Being legal professionals, you’re bound by certain rules and codes of conducts that limit what you can and cannot advertise, be it online or offline.
Oftentimes, the wrong way of marketing your firm leads to an ethics violation. To avoid such untoward incidents, ethics and the Model Rules of Professional Conduct set by the American Bar Association (ABA) should always be followed.
1. Confidentiality of Information
Discussing the details of a case you’re working on and posting it online—be it for informational or marketing purposes—can get you in trouble. While you want to give prospective clients a glimpse of your expertise in certain areas of the law, doing so at the expense of existing clients is punishable.
As a lawyer, you’re not allowed to reveal any information about the representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent. Revealing such information is only acceptable under certain conditions.
2. Duties to Prospective Clients
Online communication between you and a prospective client does not necessarily constitute a lawyer-client relationship. All the same, any form of advertising you do should be careful about giving out legal advice.
LawyerMarketingExpert.com, a trusted SEO provider for lawyers, explains that SEO done right is a great way to acquire new high-quality clients. It must follow, however, certain rules.
New rules adopted in 2012 detail how lawyers can use PPC, SEO, and social networks to market their services without inadvertently creating a lawyer-client relationship.
3. Communication Concerning a Lawyer’s Services
You probably always argue in court or assure clients that the truth will set them free. The same applies to your marketing strategies and communications.
Lawyers are not allowed to make false or misleading communication about themselves or their services. This involves misrepresentation of a fact or law, or the omission of fact that does not give the whole picture. Something as simple as providing wrong information on your website bio, or not updating other information on your site can already constitute as a violation.
Marketing your services is never a bad thing, even if you’re a lawyer. The crucial thing to remember is that you need to do it right.